Common Causes of Drowning Accidents
Multiple actions or inactions can lead to swimming pool accidents. Examples of common causes of drowning accidents include:
- Untrained staff;
- Lack of lifeguards or other supervision;
- Missing or broken emergency equipment;
- Lack of warning signs;
- Faulty or missing latch or gate;
- Exposed pool drains;
- Swimming pool overcrowding;
- Absence of a prevention plan, and
- Lack of barriers or fences around the pool.
Do not allow yourself or your family to be lulled into a false sense of security when you are at a lifeguard-staffed pool. While many lifeguards have proper training and take their job seriously, some lack the training or understanding of responsibility.
Drowning accidents can happen at facilities with lifeguards, so you always need to keep an eye on your children.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to a lifeguard’s negligence or inexperience, speak with a drowning accident lawyer at Armstrong Lee & Baker.
Who Is Responsible for Drowning and Pool Accidents?
Identifying all defendants in a pool accident claim can be one of the most challenging aspects of litigation. You might believe a specific party should be responsible, but other parties might have more liability.
Here are some potential parties that could be liable in a swimming pool accident:
- Private property owners;
- Recreational centers;
- Amusement parks;
- Schools and universities;
- Non-profit organizations;
- Neighborhood associations;
- Pool cleaners, and
- Pool management companies.
Hiring an experienced Houston drowning accident attorney is crucial. We will take all the guesswork out of who is legally liable. Rest assured that we will name all responsible parties that should be held accountable in your case.
Laws that Apply in Pool and Drowning Accidents
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, multiple laws might apply in a swimming pool accident or drowning case.
Your Houston drowning accident attorney will discuss legal theories under which you can pursue recovery. Following are some swimming pool-related laws that might apply in your case.
Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act
One of the most important laws is the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGBA). It requires pool and property owners to reduce the risk of injuries or deaths caused by entrapment hazards.
Examples include the requirement to install drain covers in residential pools that will keep swimmers, especially children, safe from being caught in pool drains.
A swimming pool can be categorized as an attractive nuisance. An attractive nuisance is a feature or thing appealing to children, which could result in harm.
Property owners must take precautions to safeguard their property so children cannot easily enter and hurt themselves. For example, not having a fence around the pool area is negligent.
Property owners or tenants must keep the pool area free from hazards, such as items someone could trip over.
Gross negligence is also known as willful or wanton misconduct. It applies when someone exhibits a blatant disregard for violations or safety issues. An owner can be held liable for gross negligence if he or she intentionally fails to fix hazards or refuses to hire lifeguards.
Recoverable Compensation in a Pool and Drowning Accident
Potential compensation in a pool accident claim varies depending on your injuries and accident circumstances. In general, recoverable damages in a drowning accident include:
- Medical expenses, including future expected treatment costs;
- Lost salary and wages, including future loss of earning capacity;
- Physical pain and suffering;
- Loss of enjoyment of life; and
- Loss of consortium and companionship.
When someone passes away from injuries sustained in a pool or drowning accident, specific surviving family members might be eligible to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
How Houston Drowning Accidents Lawyers Can Help
You might wonder if you must hire an attorney to assist you in a pool or drowning accident claim. While there is no legal obligation to hire a lawyer, we highly recommend that you do.
Accidents involving friends and family can be especially complex and divisive. Hiring a lawyer might seem like a drastic step, but we provide the objective vantage point you need.
It is easy to let emotions rule your decision-making, which is understandable when you or a family member are in pain. We will protect your rights and negotiate with the insurance company or lawyers involved.
Pool accidents require a thorough investigation and substantial evidence. We know what to look for and how to preserve evidence. Hiring one or more industry experts to review the case and provide an opinion on various aspects, such as liability or future medical care, might be necessary.
Like other types of personal injury cases, you only have a limited timeframe to file a lawsuit. In most situations, you only have two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit.
The court will likely dismiss your case if you inadvertently miss the statute of limitations. That means there is a risk that you will not receive any compensation, even if you are amid settlement negotiations.
Only some cases have a two-year deadline. Circumstances could decrease or increase the filing deadline. That is why you need to speak with a lawyer who knows how these cases work.
Contact a Houston Drowning Accident Lawyer Today
If you or someone you love suffered severe injuries in a pool accident, contact Armstrong Lee & Baker today. We will be your legal advocate and always prioritize your needs.
Our clients are more than a case file in our system. When you hire one of our drowning accident lawyers, you will be represented by one of the best Houston personal injury attorneys.
Our attorneys have years of trial experience and prepare every case as though it might reach a jury’s hands.
We are not afraid to stand up to corporations and defendants with deep pockets who want to take advantage of your pain and suffering following a drowning accident.
Let us be your legal advocates and help you fight for the compensation you and your family deserve.